How and when will climbing walls re-open?
- Thursday 7th May 2020
Now the UK, like many countries, is past the pandemic peak attention is inevitably shifting towards lifting lockdown restrictions and getting back to some semblance of ‘normal’. How and when will climbing walls be able to open again is the question vexing many and whilst reopening protocols are under development operators are wrestling with revised staffing requirements, budgets and the impact to the bottom line.
Week commencing March 16th was when things really kicked-off here in the UK when the Government advised against unnecessary travel. Business, including climbing walls, start to close as owners/operators reacted to the worsening situation. On March 23rd the Government ordered lockdown and life took on an entirely new outlook; the doors of any climbing walls still open slammed shut.
We are now seven weeks (and counting) since lockdown in the UK. The Government will decide at some point that the pandemic threat has diminished sufficiently and that leisure centres and climbing walls can reopen. Exactly when they will be allowed to reopen however is unknown the present time. In the meanwhile considerable time and energy has been spent on the ‘how can walls reopen’ dilemma. Climbing wall associations – in conjunction with other leisure industries – are working very hard behind the scenes developing reopening protocols such that when the time is right and that the facilities can reopen.
Make no mistake, climbing walls will look and feel very different from their pre-coronavirus days and the chances are that the protocols will need to remain in place for a considerable time. Demand may change, instructional and scholastic groups will have dried up and Tarquin’s birthday party won’t be happening either so staffing will need to change in step with demand. All walls will be operating in demanding trading conditions; some walls may well find it very difficult.
Climber takes an in-depth looking into how the walls can reopen, then we consider when they might be allowed to reopen and then finally what the ‘new normal’ will mean to the wall operators, the staff and the bottom line. Read the full article over in the Indoor section here...